fbpx 8 Best Xero Alternatives for Small Business Invoicing

8 Best Xero Alternatives for Small Business Invoicing

There’s no denying that invoicing has gone high tech. There are very few companies out there that are still relying on old fashioned paper invoices in the mail. More so now that so many of us have switched to a click and mortar model to cope with pandemic related changes!

But, as with any big change, this also means that there are a lot of options out there. It can be hard for small businesses to find the right online invoicing solutions. But, if you’ve been scouring the web looking for the best Xero alternative, you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to our roundup of the best, and the rest, in the world of digital invoicing solutions!

Why Is Xero So Popular?

Before we start looking at Xero alternatives, it’s worth considering why Xero is so popular in the first place.

There are several reasons why people like this software.

One is that it’s cloud based, which means it can be accessed by teams that are located in different places quickly and easily. It’s also accessible wherever you happen to be, so you can check your invoices while you wait for a plane or create estimates while working from home.

Xero has built in currency conversions too, which is nice if you operate across borders (whether you’re importing goods from suppliers or selling internationally.)

This platform also has integrated bank feeds, so you can push and pull data into and from the software to your bank accounts easily. It’s also highly compatible with other business software systems. There are several pricing options, depending on the type of organization and your needs (although at $10 to $30 per month, it’s one of the most expensive on this list.)

Xero accounting software

Source: xero.com

 

There’s no denying that Xero gets a lot of things right. But it might also be too much of a platform for smaller companies, or those that are just looking for an easy estimating, quoting, sales and invoicing system, and want to leave the real bean counting to the professionals.

That is why we’ll introduce you to some of the available Xero alternatives available. They’re definitely worth considering if you are a small business owner.

So let’s look at some other options.

1. Billdu

Accounting packages like Xero might have all the tools an accountant (CPA) might need to do recons and taxes too, but unless you have a CPA on staff, you probably won’t need all of those. So you’ll just end up paying for parts of the package that you don’t need, can’t use, and might confuse your team.

Billdu is different, because it doesn’t waste time and energy on things you’ll probably outsource to a professional accountant anyway. We focus on building the best estimating, quoting, sales and invoicing options, so that small businesses can focus their attention on making more money, rather than worrying whether it’s a depreciating asset or a loss.

The platform is packed with features that help to streamline your sales and invoicing processes. And you would not expected any other Xero alternative to be ranked no. 1, would you? 🙂

Features:

  • Quick and easy estimates
  • Invoices, including recurring invoices for contract payments
  • Mobile invoicing and apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices
  • Fast payments and “pay now” buttons that integrate with your favorite payment processor
  • Track expenses accurately from anywhere, so you can hand over all the information to your accountant
  • Online sales tools including booking, online product purchases and quote requests
  • Communication tools, widgets, and live chat, so you can integrate with your existing site, or create a standalone online sales and invoicing solution for your business fast
  • Customers can message you right from Billdu – they never have to click through to another site to reach you!
  • And more
Billdu - Best alternative to Xero for small businesses

Source: billdu.com

Pros and Cons:

One of the reasons Billdu is so great for small businesses is that we’re not trying to be great at everything. We leave the high level financial accounting in the CPA’s office, where it belongs. Instead, we focus on giving businesses sales and invoicing tools that are quick to learn and implement, accurate, and easy to use.

Pricing for Billdu starts at zero dollars for the free plan (which is not a trial, but can be used as long as you need to keep your costs down), and then range from $3.99 per month to $16.99 per month. Therefore, it is a great Xero alternative also when it comes down to cost.

Check out the #1 alternative to Xero
& streamline your invoicing with Billdu today

Invoicing, expense tracking, quotes, automation. Learn why Billdu is one of the best Xero alternatives out there.

Free 14-day trialNo credit card requiredCancel anytime
Billdu invoice maker and invoicing app

2. Invoice Simple

Invoice Simple is another platform that is hyper focused on invoicing and sales, rather than trying to be another cloud based full accounting package.

Their system offers easy setup and gives your invoices a professional appearance. There are also several great features built in.

Invoice Simple - Xero alternative for small businesses

Source: invoicesimple.com

Features:

  • Easy estimates with the option to convert to an order and invoice
  • Style your invoices and estimates to match your brand
  • Track invoice status through the platform
  • Create and save frequently used products and services so you can quickly add them to new estimates and invoices
  • Powered by Stripe, and accepts most credit and debit cards
  • Cloud based and responsive, so it’s accessible from every device, wherever you have internet connectivity

Pros and Cons:Invoice Simple is an even more stripped down platform, that doesn’t have easy online sales integration or communication tools built in.

There is an option to use Invoice Simple free, but if you want to use most or all of the advertised features, you will need to pay a monthly fee of $8.99 a month for basic access, or $6.66 per month calculated annually if you pay for a full year upfront.

Invoice Simple is great. But why not
try Billdu as a Xero alternative?

Invoicing, expense tracking, quotes, automation. Learn why Billdu is one of the best Xero alternatives out there.

Free 14-day trialNo credit card requiredCancel anytime
Billdu invoice maker and invoicing app

3. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is undoubtedly one of the bigger names in the cloud based accounting world. But, while they definitely have some great accounting, invoicing and sales features built in, there are probably too many bells and whistles for small businesses. In that way, it’s possibly a closer alternative to Xero. But that’s only useful if you’re ready and you need all those things.

If you are still using an outsourced accountant for your annual financials, you probably won’t need all the things this software offers. On the contrary, having too many things to figure out can lead to analysis paralysis, and could make uptake of this software harder for smaller teams.

That having been said, there is a very impressive list of features on offer by FreshBooks.

Alternative to Xero - Freshbooks

Source: freshbooks.com

Features:

  • A full double entry accounting system
  • Easy integrations and APIs for various popular platforms like Shopify, Zoom and others – although you will still be paying additional fees for all of those services
  • Expense and mileage tracking
  • Estimates and proposals
  • Time tracking for hourly billing
  • An integrated CRM solution
  • Invoicing
  • Project management and costing tools
  • Reporting options

Pros and Cons:

FreshBooks is, without a doubt, a complete soup to nuts accounting solution that will work very well for smaller companies that have an in house accountant. But the learning curve for financial accounting is still there, and if you don’t have that person on your team, you still can’t “wing it” with the books. So those features are expenses that you won’t recoup early on.

Like many full accounting packages, FreshBooks costs a little more, but with packages starting at $6 a month and going up to $20 a month, it still won’t break the bank. Packages are based on the number of clients you have however, so if you have more than 50, you will have to opt for the largest, professional package.

4. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is another titan in the online accounting platform world. They’re one of the most popular systems out there, and they really do pack a lot of features into their system.

But, like FreshBooks, they might suffer from being a little too much for smaller businesses that don’t have the technical know how for full accounting packages. QuickBooks has whistles on their bells and bells on their whistles, but do you really need them all?

QuickBooks - popular Xero alternative

Source: quickbooks.intuit.com

Features:

  • Detailed estimating and invoicing
  • Income and expenses tracking
  • Sales and tax tracking
  • Live inventory
  • Receipt capturing and organizing
  • Payment processing
  • Progress billing
  • Mileage and hourly billing tracking
  • Maximizing tax deductions (Intuit, who make QuickBooks also make TurboTax!)
  • Multiple users and granular permissions
  • Reporting and profitability tracking
  • Easy currency conversions
  • And more

Pros and Cons:

Of course, QuickBooks is also online, and cloud based, so it’s got all the accessibility angles covered too. However, while the UX is great, and the software looks great, there is a fairly steep learning curve, and you really do need to have an accountant take care of the financial parts of the package.

If you just need invoicing and sales solutions, you would probably be paying for big chunks of this platform without getting any benefit from it.

There are varying levels of account you can choose with QuickBooks, starting at $10 a month and going up to $30 per month for business. Freelancers can opt for the “self employed” package, which costs just $5 a month. There is a 30 day free trial if you’re just shopping around, and all the small business options also have optional payroll for $20 per month and an additional $3 per employee.

QuickBooks is one of the best small business accounting packages, but it’s best for bigger small businesses. If you’re not there yet, you may find it overwhelming, and you probably won’t get your money’s worth for a while.

FreshBooks or QuickBooks? Try Billdu
as our #1 Xero alternative for small businesses

Invoicing, expense tracking, quotes, automation. Learn why Billdu is one of the best Xero alternatives for small business owners.

Free 14-day trialNo credit card requiredCancel anytime
Billdu invoice maker and invoicing app

5. Zoho

Zoho is a little different to the other options on this list, because it’s more like an enterprise solution for smaller businesses. There’s financial modules, HR tools, marketing options, digital management tools and more. You don’t have to opt in for all of them, but if you do want an end to end solution that can do everything (or at the very least most of it!) this might be a good Xero alternative option.

Since this is an article about invoicing and sales solutions, we’re going to focus on the finance and accounting tools offered as part of Zoho, but it’s worth knowing that there are options to expand.

As you would expect from what is a massive and complex software platform, Zoho is not exactly simple. It’s not something you’re going to sign up for now, and start using in ten minutes time. That being said, there are some great features built in.

Zoho invoice

Source: zoho.com

Features:

  • Quotes and estimates
  • Sales orders
  • Warehouse orders and shipping manifests
  • Inventory management
  • Expense reporting
  • Subscriptions
  • Invoicing
  • Payment management and tracking

Pros and Cons:

Zoho finance does most of the things a small to mid sized business needs, but if you’re not quite there yet, as with some of the other packages we’ve mentioned here, the learning curve might be too steep and the payoff a little too low when you’re starting out.

This platform also has one of the highest costs on this list. They charge $249 per month for ten users, with a 14 day free trial. There’s an additional fee for any user over ten. You can reduce this to $199 per month if you are paying annually upfront.

However, if you don’t have ten people that need to access your accounting system, and you won’t use all the features they offer (and there are a lot!) it’s probably better to leave this until you’re a little further along in your growth!

6. Square

Square is a little bit of a wildcard inclusion on this list because they are primarily a payment processor. However, they do offer invoicing, quotes, and some very basic accounting tracking tools, which does put them in the same sort of neighborhood.

Unlike some of the other options on this list, because Square has their own payment processing system rather than using a third party system, their platform only works in some countries. These include: the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Republic of Ireland and the UK. So if you’re outside of those countries, or you sell outside of them, you will have to wait until they expand.

Alternative to Xero - Square Up

Source: squareup.com

Features:

  • Payment processing
  • Point of sale
  • Invoicing and estimates
  • Online sales
  • Appointments
  • Repeat payments
  • Manual / over the phone credit and debit card processing on desktop or app

Pros and Cons:

If you want a single solution that does most of what you need, and you’re in a country their platform works in, this is a good option.

Because they have their own payment processor, there’s no figuring out of APIs or anything else to get done before you can get started. There’s also no upfront cost if you don’t choose to use their hardware.

However, they do charge a fee per transaction, which is usually upwards of 2.9% and upwards for each transaction, plus a flat fee starting at $0.30 per sale. This can add up over time, but it does also make this system “pay as you go” so you don’t have to worry about monthly fees. No sales, no cost!

Square is made for payment processing, so it integrates with a lot of websites (good for businesses that incorporate e-commerce.) There are also hardware options that can accept physical payments, so you can keep all your transactions in one place.

Zoho or Square? Can’t decide?
Try Billdu today – you won’t regret it!

Invoicing, expense tracking, quotes, automation. Learn why Billdu is one of the best Xero alternatives for small business owners.

Free 14-day trialNo credit card requiredCancel anytime
Billdu invoice maker and invoicing app

7. Gnu Cash

Gnu Cash is another very different option on this list, because it’s not cloud or account based. Instead, it’s an open source accounting package that has been around for many years.

As open source software, it is completely free to use, which is great, but that also means you have to have some technical skill to get it all working. Plus, if you want to have more people using the same system, you need to enable remote access or set up a VPN or server to make that happen. Which is also costly and requires some high level expertise. Because it is Open Source, you will also wait for tech support – since it’s all done by volunteers.

Gnu Cash is very simple, and it definitely won’t replace high end accounting software. But it does get the basics done pretty well.

GnuCash - one of Xero alternatives

Source: gnucash.og

Features:

  • Double entry accounting with checkbook style entry
  • Recurring and scheduled transactions
  • Reports and recons
  • Income and expense tracking
  • Invoicing, quotes, sales orders, and purchase orders
  • Various currencies available
  • And more

Pros and Cons:

Gnu Cash is free, which is the best price range out there. But it’s not the easiest to set up and use, and when it comes to support, you really do get what you pay for. There are lots of Gnu Cash enthusiasts out there, and they’re happy to help, but the support turnaround is patchy at best, and when you’re dealing with important finance issues, that’s not great.

Gnu Cash might also have too much for small businesses that only need to manage invoices, sales, and payments, which means there’s a lot to learn without too much payoff.

Not a bad choice if you need something for a very slim budget, but you should plan to upgrade as soon as you can. There’s also no telling when OS packages like this will stop being developed or supported, so you probably don’t want to get too invested.

8. Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting has got a good reputation as one of the big name “freemium” accounting packages. You can use many of the features free, but if you want to get access to everything (and take away the ads!) you need to upgrade.

Wave is a full accounting package with several different modules that cover different types of financial management requirements.

Wave accounting software cash flow

Source: waveapps.com

Features:

  • Full accounting package
  • Track income and expenses
  • Invoices, including recurring billing
  • Integrated payment processing
  • Payroll and taxes

Pros and Cons:

Wave is free to use, which is great, but you will probably find that if you want to use all their features, you will need to pay. If you use their payment processor, you will be charged 2.9% and upwards for each transaction, as well as a flat fee of 30c. There is also a $20 a month cost for the payroll addon.

This platform is built for north America, so some of the features might not work if you’re not in the U.S. or Canada.

Wave is all cloud based, so it’s great for spread out teams, or to manage finances on the go. However, like many packages on this list, it does a lot more than just invoicing, and you may find that setup takes longer and is more complex than you’d like.

Choosing the Right Platform

These are some of the best invoicing options out there, but they’re not the only ones. Chances are, you can find more just by looking online. However, not all platforms are created equal, and there are a few things you want to consider.

The first one is whether it does what you need, or whether it’s overly complex – or too simple. The software you need to manage invoicing and quotes will vary depending on where you are in your business. When you’re starting out, something that is plug and play and can get you going in minutes is probably preferable. Later on, when you need to have something your CFO can use to manage all your complicated finances, you might need something bigger and flashier, but that does require proper training.

Cloud based is also great for smaller businesses. You want to be able to access your information anywhere. But you also want to choose a platform with staying power. No one wants to enter important information on a platform and then have it all disappear one day!

Integration is important too. You probably want to have the flexibility to sell online, to set up recurring payments for contracts and to manually process payments. Or you might need something with a particular API or widget to connect to your website.

Finally, consider whether you want to be locked into one payment processor, or have the freedom to choose. While it’s nice to have one system locked in, many customers want options, so you might want to give them a variety of choices.

Hopefully, you know a little more about the best Xero alternatives out there now, and what might work better for your business, right now. Whatever you do end up choosing, we hope it’s easy to learn, easy to use, and processes lots of payments for your business now, and in the future!

Streamline your invoicing
with Billdu invoice maker

Invoicing, expense tracking, quotes, automation. We are confident that as a small business, you’ll find Billdu a great Xero alternative.

Free 14-day trialNo credit card requiredCancel anytime
Billdu invoice maker and invoicing app